Understanding the Stages of the Grieving Process

By: Tom Turner
Thursday, November 24, 2016

Our previous blog was focused on ways in which you can help your friend through the grieving process after the loss of a loved one. Our funeral directors here in Sydney, have created a second part to this blog to help you understand in detail, the stages of grieving. This will help to put what your friend may be feeling into perspective so you can better support them as they make their way along this journey to healing.


When your friend is in the first stage of the grieving process, they will experience an initial shock. This is typically within the first couple of weeks after the death of a loved one has occurred. They are very busy and distracted with funeral arrangements and the funeral service, they probably have not spent much time alone to really think about the changes they are enduring in their life. At this time, they are trying their hardest to handle their pain to be emotionally present for the service and say their last goodbye. You can explain this type of emotion as numbness, disbelief, or shock.


As they move forward with everyday life, they may experience a sense of disbelief and numbness to the pain and grief they are feeling.


During this stage of the grieving process, checking up on your friend regularly will really support them help to them move onto the next stage which is, confrontation with the loss. They will begin to experience intense emotions of loss and pain. After all the bustle of the funeral arrangements and gatherings, they will have had a chance to allow everything to sink in and reality may start to weigh them down during this time.


You may notice a change in their personality or behavior such as:


  • Depression
  • Lack of appetite
  • Withdrawing from social activity
  • Anger
  • Guilt


As a friend, it is important to keep an eye open for these specific changes to know what steps you can take to support them. Eventually, they will find a way to move to the third stage of the grieving process which is acceptance of the loss. There is no certain timeline as to when this will happen. Remember everyone grieves differently and at their own pace.


Your friend will of course always miss their loved one who has passed, although with time it will get easier to deal with this loss and move forward with their daily life. Keep in mind, that if you notice it has been a long time and they haven’t reached this point that there are resources for your friend to seek help to cope.


If you have any other questions on this topic or would like to speak to our funeral directors here in Sydney, at Affinity Funerals, you can contact us here.

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